There are three common types of love. Each one is distinctly different, but we can feel all of them at one time – for one person or many people. EROS is passionate physical love. It includes sensual desires and longing.
Relationships built only on Eros usually end when sexual passion wanes. That is why people have affairs or casual physical relationships. Therefore, marriage needs more than Eros to survive.
PHILIA means friendship and connotes affectionate love between friends and family. It displays dispassionate camaraderie. Philia includes loyalty to friends, family and community. It exhibits Godly virtue, impartiality and delight.
Philia denotes a friendly type of affection between family and friends. It is a desire for companionship and enjoying activities with each other. Having a friendship with the people in your life and enjoying time to play, pray and share in common pursuits is vital in any relationship.
AGAPE means unconditional love. It refers to a deep sense of God’s pure, holy love. Instead of the sexual attraction of Eros or the deep affection of Philia, Agape is sacrificial.
Agape provides us with the feeling of contentment and satisfaction as we put each other first and highly esteem one another as better than our self (Philippians 2:3-4). True love takes effort and is not dependent on the other person.
Christ lives in us and is love personified. Regardless of how someone treats us, we love them with God’s love within us. It is not how we feel, but what we do to express God’s love to one another.
This does not mean that we do not honestly communicate to others how their behavior makes us feel; but we never give up on the relationship. We may have to establish boundaries, but we keep the relationship active.
Love is not what we expect from others, but what we provide for those in our life whom we care about. We are called to love one another, just as Christ loves us. Sometimes, that is a tall order to fill.
Father God, help us to display love to our parents, spouse, children, church family and even strangers regardless of how they treat us. This is only possible as we submit to Your will for our life and allow Your Spirit to reprogram our thinking to have the mind of Christ. Remind us that once we have this spiritual love, then the physical and the emotional feelings will follow after it.
Cause us to submit our self to You and to resist the devil. Then he must flee from us (James 4:7). His destructive suggestions that putting our self first, estrangement and divorce are not wrong, and that You want us to be happy, will vanish with his departure. Remind us that You want us to be holy. Help us to develop Agape love for others as we focus on submitting our self to You.
Thought for the Day:
Most people realize that we are far from loving one another with true self-sacrificing, lasting and sincere love; Eros and Philia come and go throughout the years, and they are never intense for long periods of time, but Agape lasts forever.